Whimsical Harlequin Christmas Tree Sign

Learn to paint this whimsical Christmas Tree Sign with a stenciled harlequin background. It’s perfect to gift or display in your own home this Christmas.

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Whimsical Harlequin Christmas Tree Sign

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We’ve already had our first snow! It was a dusting, really, and melted quickly, but it still had all the magic a first snow should have. And I’m still decorating – adding special touches here and there. I don’t think I’ll ever be done, really.

So many pieces of my Christmas decor are those I’ve painted myself. There’s just something about displaying things you’ve created with love for those people you love the most. It makes everything extra special. 

Today I want to share one of those projects with you. It’s a Christmas tree sign – but not just any Christmas tree sign. It’s in my favorite whimsical style and I painted the background of this sign using a super cute harlequin stencil! I love painting with stencils. In this project, I’ll be sharing tips to make painting with stencils easy. 

Are you ready to paint with me?

Materials Mentioned

How to Paint this Whimsical Harlequin Christmas Tree Sign

Paint the background white.

We’re going to start by painting our background white. I’m using a cardboard shape I found at a craft store that I know will make a super cute sign. You can choose this same shape or anything else you find or like better. 

The paint really soaks into the cardboard. Instead of trying to go thick right away, use a chip brush and cover the cardboard with light layers, letting it dry between layers. You want a nice, smooth surface on which to create your design. 

Use a smaller brush to cover the sides of your sign with the same white paint. 

Close up of th eWhimsical Harlequin Christmas Tree Sign

Christie Tip: You can mix brands of acrylic paint with no problem. I have my favorites, but also pick up colors I love from different brands. All can be used together! 

Sketch your whimsical Christmas trees.    

Using a pencil or Sharpie marker, sketch your Christmas trees onto the white background. 

Remember, this is a whimsical sign, so perfection is not our goal! Have fun with this. 

I sketched one larger tree in the center and then a slightly smaller tree on each side. For this whimsical style, I kept my trees very simple – they’re just cute triangular trees. 

When deciding where to place your trees, leave some room at the top of your sign for personalization or a holiday message. You could add your family name or a simple “Merry Christmas.” It’s all up to you! 

Apply the harlequin stencil and paint the background design.  

When working with a stencil, you may want to tape it down to your painting surface. For this project, I was able to simply hold it in place. 

Tips for painting with stencils: 

  • Use a makeup sponge to apply paint. Load the sponge lightly with paint to the point where it is almost absorbed into the sponge. 
  • Lightly dab paint onto your painting surface. A light touch will help keep the paint from bleeding outside the borders of your stencil. 
Harlequin painted in the background of my Christmas Tree Sign

Using a makeup sponge keeping these tips in mind, keep the stencil in place as you  apply black paint to the white background, painting around the trees. Don’t stress about staying perfectly outside them – you can cover up any issues when we paint the trees. 

Paint the whimsical Christmas trees. 

I used an angled brush to paint my whimsical Christmas trees. 

Started by using white paint to clean up the edges of my trees a bit and then starting having fun with colors. 

I chose Apple Green for the middle tree, Tuscan Red for the tree on the left, and Dragonfruit Pink for the tree on the right. I love the way these colors look together – they play perfectly into the whimsical vibe I want for this project. 

Remember to paint in thin layers or your paint will get gloppy and sticky – and take forever to dry. 

Colorful DIY Painted Whimsical Harlequin Christmas Tree Sign

Christie Tip: If you brace your arm while painting, you allow your wrist to move more freely which results in nice, smooth lines.

I played with some of the other colors, adding teal mint to the edges of the middle tree and pink to the edges of the red tree. I love the dimension it immediately gave these trees. 

Use colors you love! This project would be beautiful so many different color combinations.

I used my gold paint pen to give these whimsical Christmas trees trunks full of personality! 

It’s time to decorate the trees.  

This whole project is fun, but… this part is the most fun! 

Again, we’re not going for perfection here. Have fun with your decorations! 

I used Posca paint pens in pink, white, gold, and black as well as a small, detail brush and craft paint. You could also use small jewels or gems to decorate if you have them. 

Whimsical Harlequin Christmas Tree Sign

My decorating choices included: 

  • Blue and pink bulbs on the green tree
  • Blue garland on the pink tree 
  • Gold garland on the red tree
  • Blue scallops on the red tree
  • Pink bulbs on the red tree
  • Blue and green bulbs on the pink tree
  • Teal bulbs on the red tree

I played until I was happy with the results. I love how it looks. 

DIY Harlequin Christmas Tree Sign in a Christmas Tree

Add finishing touches.  

It’s time for finishing touches! I used my black and white Posca pens to outline my trees. Now, these are not careful, precise outlines. In keeping with the whimsical style, I kept my lines sketchy and a little bit scribbly – light and loose. 

Let’s get glittery! I added glitter touches by painting over the trees with twinkle paint. It gives an almost holographic effect and its filled with chunky big pieces of glitter. So fun for Christmas!! 

When your sign has dried completely, then you can go back and add your words to the top of it if you want – you can even glue on a bow! I think this sign would be perfect either hung up on your home or propped on a table or mantle. 

I hope you love this  whimsical harlequin Christmas tree sign as much as I do! 

Watch the full Whimsical Harlequin Christmas Tree Sign painting tutorial

Post a picture and share what you learned on The Social Easel Facebook Page!

Stay creative and happy painting!

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